“This is, ultimately, the meaning of your Oblation today. Imagine yourselves wrapped up, together with the bread and wine for the Holy Sacrifice, in a corporal of purest white linen. Your lives will be placed on the altar, laid there with the host and with the chalice, all in readiness for the descent of Divine Mercy. Once something is placed on the altar, it becomes, Saint Augustine says, sacrificium, a sacrifice made over to God. God takes whatever we give Him in the Holy Sacrifice. Christ, the Angel of the Father — His Messenger — descends from heaven and, like the eagle in the Canticle of Moses (cf. Deuteronomy 32:11) carries aloft, on the strong and immense wings of His mercy, the offerings set out for the Father upon the altars of His Church. Or again, God sends a fire of mercy from heaven to consume those who, binding themselves to Christ, the one spotless Lamb, would pass over into His sacrifice, becoming with Him a pure victim, a holy victim, an immaculate victim giving glory to God and obtaining torrents of mercy for souls.”
“There is one last detail that only God could have arranged: today, the Second Sunday of Easter, is the liturgical anniversary of the death in 1698 of the great 17th century French Benedictine who, through her writings and her intercession, has become for us a “mystagogue” of the Sacred Host: Mother Mectilde of the Holy Sacrament. I pray that as she becomes better known among us and in the English–speaking world, Mother Mectilde, the Teresa of the Benedictine Order,— will continue to initiate us into the mysteries of “the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world” (Apocalypse 13:8), the very Lamb who appeared in glory at Knock in Ireland, and who abides, silent, humble, and hidden, in the Sacrament of His Love.”
“May God receive your Oblation today and consume you — each one of you — as victims cast irretrievably into the holocaust of His Merciful Love. Amen.” (From Father Prior’s homily delivered by Dom Benedict)
In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. I, N. (Christian Name), N. (Oblate Name), N. (Surname), humbly prostrate before my adorable Saviour Jesus Christ, whom I believe to be really present in the divine Eucharist, offer myself to Almighty God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to our holy Father Benedict for the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle at Silverstream; according to the spirit of the Rule of the same glorious father Saint Benedict, promising to foster with all diligence the adoration of the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
At the time I entrust myself with filial confidence to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sovereign Lady and Abbess of this monastery, placing myself under her royal protection, and consecrating myself to her Immaculate and Maternal Heart.
In the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Tulsa, Oklahoma, this 27th day of April, the Sunday of Divine Mercy, in the year of our Lord 2014.
Your Spiritual Worship
The Benedictine tradition sees Oblation as an act intimately tied to the altar of the monastery and to the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist (cf. RB 58:20-21; 59: 1-2). Oblation is, then, a free act of self-offering to God, patterned after the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim, from the altar of the Cross. One of the key texts for understanding your vocation as an Oblate is what Saint Paul wrote to the Romans: “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).
For the Body of Christ, the Church
The Holy Ghost has, in some way — through a series of events, personal encounters, and circumstances — drawn you to the altar of our humble little monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle to make the offering of yourself with Christ. As an Oblate you will begin to live from the altar, in communion with those of us who remain within the monastic enclosure, not for yourself alone in any narrow way, but, rather, for the sake of the whole Body of Christ, that is the Church. “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you,” says Saint Paul, “and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the Church ” (Colossians 1:24).
Near and Far
The Church will recognize your Oblation as a special bond between you and our monastery (cf. CCL, can. 303; can. 677 §2). Being primarily spiritual, this bond is not dependent upon geographic proximity. Anyone who has discerned a spiritual affinity with the Rule of Saint Benedict and with our monastery’s particular charism of Eucharistic adoration, reparation, and supplication for the sanctification of priests can ask to become an Oblate.
The Holy Rule
Begin looking to the Rule of Saint Benedict to guide you in “truly seeking God” (cf. RB 58:7). Saint Benedict will teach you, gently but firmly to “prefer nothing to the love of Christ” (RB 4: 21). He will encourage you to “take your part in the sufferings of Christ through patience, so as to share also in his kingdom” (RB Pro: 50).
From Every Walk of Life
Oblates come from every walk of life: single and married and widowed, young and old. Some are the mothers and fathers of large families of little ones and not-so-little ones. There are farmers and cattle ranchers, housekeepers and cooks, teachers, doctors, lawyers, artists, nurses, and photographers. What do you all have in common? You desire, while continuing in your own unique own state in life, to enroll yourself in the “school of the Lord’s service” (RB Pro: 45) established 1500 years ago by Saint Benedict, our father and teacher. You desire to “persevere with one mind in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus” (Acts 1:14). You are drawn to the adoration of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus, shining more brightly than the sun from the tabernacles of the Church, in this world’s dark night of faith.
There will be diocesan priests, deacons, and seminarians among the Oblates of our monastery. Many priests have found in Saint Benedict’s “little Rule written for beginners” (RB 73:8) and in our monastery’s charism of perpetual Eucharistic adoration a strong support for living boldly in the midst of the world as “ministers of Christ and dispensers of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1).
Be Informed, Reformed, and Transformed
Seek to grow into the full stature of your Baptismal consecration by drawing all of the little things that make up daily life into the upward movement of your Oblation to the Father. Every little thing has Eucharistic potential. There is no thing that cannot be brought to the altar and given back to God. Go forward humbly but confidently, letting the Rule of Saint Benedict inform you, reform you, and transform you. The Holy Rule is a humble handbook to holy living, one that the Holy Ghost has used through the ages to form saints ablaze with the love of Christ.